[quote style=”boxed”]Focus on the desired outcome. I think people tend to forget about what they are trying to accomplish too often[/quote]
DJ Muller is president and founder of WebLink International, the creators of WebLink Connect™ the innovative, insightful and intuitive association management software with superior customer support. WebLink empowers hundreds of trade and professional associations and more than 500,000 small and medium businesses to help them acquire and retain more customers.
Where did the idea for WebLink International come from?
My idea for doing association management software online came from the fact I thought it would be a lot easier (and less expensive) for associations to get software online, vs. having to buy hardware to run, and maintain the association software themselves.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I try to focus each day on moving 3 “big rocks” forward that will provide the most value to our customers and the market place.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I typically look for where people are having the most pain and then develop solutions to solve it. Specifically we do prototyping to see how customers feel about proposed solutions.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
A mobile work force. I think it is exciting that tablets are becoming powerful enough to now enable workers to truly be mobile.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I think focus. Thinking about the END goal in GREAT detail. The more detailed I can make the outcome, the better off I am.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
Selling perfume door to door in college. I lasted 1 week. I learned to check references on employers ! J
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
Engage experts faster.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Focus on the desired outcome. I think people tend to forget about what they are trying to accomplish too often.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
Planning, and forecasting, measuring and adjusting. DAILY I would work on sales projections, cash projections, lead flow, etc. Measure the results.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
There are many. I think like a lot of successful entrepreneurs I have overcome each failure by simply believing that I “could” overcome every set back. With that foundation, I also believe there is RARELY a problem that entrepreneurs run into that hasn’t been solved by someone else already. Instead of trying to solve each problem yourself, find folks that have already solved similar problems and get their advice.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I think there is a HUGE gap between the generational use of technology in the work force; meaning that executives and management in their 40’s – 60’s (generalizing here) have not been able to keep up with all the changes in the past few years. And because they haven’t been able to keep up, they are not taking advantage of the newer technology. Even the feature of the smart phones are not being used to help executives become more efficient and organized. Cool efficiency services such as DropBox are still not common place. I think a consulting service company that focuses on educating executives on how to use the new technology would close the generational gap in technology use. I think many companies would pay for a service the empowers their management and executive teams to be more efficient with technology.
Tell us something about you that very few people know?
I have – ok “had” a 42 inch vertical jump and could do 360 windmill slam dunks when I was younger.
What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?
I use WebLinkConnect CRM a lot to manage and learn more about our customers. It gives really insightful reports and helps me know which customers to focus on. I also like DropBox for file sharing and easy access from any place.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Strength Finders by Tom Rath. Too many times I see entrepreneurs struggling because they are trying to do everything and some things they are just not good at and should get someone else to fill that role. Strength Finders is an easy read book and assessment that will help entrepreneurs better understand that they are GOOD at so they can stay focused and fill in the gaps around them.
What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?
I read a lot and have benefited the most from books by Patrick Lencioni ; Stephen Covey, John Maxwell, Jim Collins (Good to Great), Peter Drucker, and others.
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Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.